FIA will not be influenced by 'outside opinion'

Motor racing's world governing body, the FIA, have insisted they will be not influenced by 'outside opinion' in considering Ferrari's appeal against disqualification in the Malaysian Grand Prix. There has been strong lobbying from within the sport for the Federation Internationale de L'Automobile (FIA) to overturn the decision which denied Ferrari first place in Kuala Lumpur.

Motor racing's world governing body, the FIA, have insisted they will be not influenced by 'outside opinion' in considering Ferrari's appeal against disqualification in the Malaysian Grand Prix. There has been strong lobbying from within the sport for the Federation Internationale de L'Automobile (FIA) to overturn the decision which denied Ferrari first place in Kuala Lumpur.

The disqualification gave Mika Hakkinen the title by default. The decision was taken after the cars of Eddie Irvine and Michael Schumacher failed a post-race inspection.

The strongest comments since the disqualification came from Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone who described the decision to disqualify Ferrari as "nonsense."

Ecclestone said: "I have campaigned for years that the Formula One rules and regulations are too tight. It is bad for the sport. The public want to see a great finish to a great championship. "It is a shame if the world championship could be decided by someone quite junior who has made a mistake in the factory."

But in a statement today the FIA said the correct procedure would be followed in examining the Ferrari case. The FIA said: "This appeal will be heard on Friday, October 22 in Paris by five judges, each from a different country whose identities will be kept secret until the hearing.

"All five are completely independent of anyone involved in motor sport, including Formula One, and are experienced lawyers or judges in their own countries. All have a motor sport background but are no longer involved in any way.

"The FIA would like to stress these judges will not be influenced by any outside opinion, irrespective of the person who expresses it. They will decide the case solely on the basis of the evidence and arguments put forward during the hearing."

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